3) Economic Development - Economic Development | Planning and Resources

A community can improve its ability to undertake economic development activities by having dedicated and knowledgeable staff devoted to community economic development. Dedicated community resources for entrepreneurship and business development, along with supportive leadership and engaged members, are cornerstones of successful economic development. This next section will help you evaluate your community’s economic development resources and processes:

Does your community have a formal strategic plan for economic development?
When was the last time this strategic plan was reviewed?
Does your community have an Economic Development Officer (EDO) or an economic development committee, office or organization?
Does the EDO have other portfolio responsibilities in addition to economic development?
Does your community have a designated contact for economic development activities?
Does your community have an autonomous decision-making process (distinct from decisions made by leadership) to support business development?
Does your leadership or economic development office use best practices, guidelines or policies on economic development?
What are some of your community’s best practices for economic development?
Is there a budget for economic development activity in your community? Is it sufficient?
Could your community employ full or part-time professional planners or EDOs to deal with economic development and land use planning specifically?
Could your community use private sector economic development or land use planning consultants?
Does your community have an up-to-date community profile? Where can it be found?
Does your community profile include details of a proposed business or industrial park?
Does your community have an inventory of community member-owned businesses, contractors and entrepreneurs?
Does your community have adequate financial resources for business and industrial development?
Does your community have the resources to create a “one-stop” business services center for all matters related to the development process?
Has your community established relations with regional economic development resources such as Economic Development Officers, National Development Officers and Advisers, Small Business Enterprise Centers, etc.?
Have you included these contacts in your economic development efforts? If not, are there opportunities to begin building these associations?
Do you believe that your community is adequately knowledgeable about existing national, county and municipal economic development policies, programs and services?
To what extent does your community market itself?
Are your community businesses promoted in local, regional, national or international markets?
Does your community work with the local chamber of commerce or local business groups on economic development matters?
Does your community work cooperatively with neighboring communities to pool resources and information on economic development?
Does your community jointly fund economic development initiatives and programs with private sector companies or levels of government?
Do you have a mechanism for determining those businesses and individuals who have left your community, but who may be interested in returning or investing locally?